Bored of traditional drum machines? Try using marbles… in virtual reality. ‘Drops’ is a new system from Planeta, a multimedia studio focussed on virtual and augmented reality experiences. It’s been described as “a musical instrument driven by the beat and flow of cascading marbles as they strike multi-tonal blocks.”
Dust off your virtual reality headset – Planeta’s ‘Drops: Rhythm Garden’ offers buckets of creative potential with their futuristic alternative to the humble drum machine.
Most agree that virtual reality has the ability to shape the future, however until now, there have been limited applications in a musical context.
Drops: Rhythm Garden allows the user to manipulate a stream of marbles, which strike percussive objects such as blocks, planks, drums as well as some instruments like flutes and chimes. A natural soundscape consisting of water, birds, wind and grass sets a serene background – Planeta intended the experience to aid in mindfulness.
The design forces a user to use strategy to fine tune their work into elaborate polyphonic rhythms. Planeta state that Drops requires little to no background knowledge of music and is “easy to pick up and hard to put down”. The initial release features sounds created with musician Patrick Russel and composer Patrick Higgins. Check it out below.
For more information check out Drops: Rhythm Garden on the Oculus store or on Steam.